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The Gamal

The Gamal

Ciarán Collins

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‘Astonishing. Inventive. Playful. Unique. A novel to savour. Ciarán Collins is the real deal.’ Colum McCann

Winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature 2013. 'An outstanding book.

Incredibly funny … with hints of genuine tragedy at the heart of it'. John Boland, RTE Radio One 'The Gamal is an audacious debut. 114,124 words from an unforgettable narrator'. John Boyne on Twitter 'A mixture between Butcher Boy, Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha and Catcher in the Rye … You'll lash through it … It's funny and tragic and brilliant all at the same time … I struck gold with it'. Ryan Tubridy, RTE 2 'Reading The Gamal is indeed part-jigsaw, a process of piecing the various clues together, but it's a richer experience for it. Charlie holds his own against any precocious child narrator, and Collins' brave decision to end his novel with questions left unanswered is brilliantly confident. Genuinely heartbreaking in parts, The Gamal is a gritty, modern Romeo and Juliet told by a compelling and original voice'. Independent 'Ciarán Collins's ambitious yet well-anchored debut novel elicits a strong emotional reaction by setting two irreconcilable extremes on a collision course ...

Alternately cynical and idealistic, “the gamal” is an insightful witness, absorbing more than he lets on … A disturbing moral tale told with flair and an ear for stinging vernacular, this will haunt the memory as a modern-day Romeo and Juliet set in Cork'. Sunday Times Ireland Meet Charlie. People think he's crazy. But he's not. People think he's stupid. But he's not. People think he's innocent...

He's the Gamal.Charlie has a story to tell, about his best friends Sinéad and James and the bad things that happened. But he can't tell it yet, at least not till he's worked out where the beginning is. Because is the beginning long ago when Sinéad first spoke up for him after Charlie got in trouble at school for the millionth time? Or was it later, when Sinéad and James followed the music and found each other? Or was it later still on that terrible night when something unspeakable happened after closing time and someone chose to turn a blind eye?

Charlie has promised Dr Quinn he'll write 1,000 words a day, but it's hard to know which words to write. And which secrets to tell...This is the story of the dark heart of an Irish village, of how daring to be different can be dangerous and how there is nothing a person will not do for love. 

Exhilarating, bitingly funny and unforgettably poignant, this is a story like no other. This is the story of the Gamal.

Additional Information

Author Ciarán Collins
Publisher Bloomsbury
Publication date 10 Apr 2014
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9781408827840

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